The Wheels of the Barrow Go ‘Round and ‘Round
Posted by languageandgrammar on January 6, 2009
As spring approaches (well, the November and December holidays are over, so that means that spring is just around the corner, doesn’t it?), some of us will soon be planning our gardens—the designing, the raking, the hoeing.
When you transport the mounds of soil from one side of the yard to the other—or in our case, one side of the deck to the other—the best way to do that is with a wheelbarrow. It’s understandable that many of us say the incorrect wheelbarrel since barrel is a word, and if the barrel is big enough, it certainly could hold a lot of soil, but the correct word is wheelbarrow.
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, one of the oldest meanings for barrow is a “‘vehicle for carrying a load,’ c.1300, barewe, probably from an unrecorded O.E. *bearwe ‘basket, barrow,’ from beran ‘to bear, to carry.’ ”
Slap a couple of wheels on that barrow, and wheelbarrow makes perfect sense!
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